Leslie Harradine Part 2 – A change of allegiance

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A rare photograph of Leslie Harradine

The next chapter of Harradine’s association with Doulton begins in 1919. Noke, Art Director at Doulton’s Burslem factory recognised Harradine’s talent for figure making and attempted to recruit him. Noke had been particularly impressed by the set of six Dickens figures Harradine had modelled for Lambeth.

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One of Harradine’s six Dickens figures made for Lambeth – Mr Micawber

However, not under any circumstances would Harradine consider working at Burslem, but via Lambeth’s Art Director Joseph Mott’s intervention, a meeting between Noke and Harradine was arranged whereby Noke travelled to London to meet with Harradine. The result of this meeting was of course that arrangement that has become legend amongst Doulton figure collectors. Thus Noke and Harradine came to an arrangement, whereby Harradine would send a succession of models to Burslem for Noke’s approval and a change of allegiance to Doulton’s of Burslem. This was an arrangement that lasted almost 40 years and would continue when Noke’s son succeeded him as Art Director in 1936 at Burslem. Harradine modelled in his preferred medium – salt glaze stoneware and sent one or two models per month wrapped in brown paper, and whose arrival would cause something of a stir when they arrived in Burslem.

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Here are two of Harradine’s original models for Burslem figures, both of Mr Micawber (first and second versions)

His models would deliver the popular success that the HN range had hitherto not achieved, representing fashions and interests from their own era. Harradine modelled women, men and children with equal skill. His figures entered the HN range in 1920 with The Princess HN391 until 1956, when his last ‘new’ model was introduced, Dimity HN2169, although many of his studies remained in production decades after this.

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The very stylish Clothilde in two colourways

At last Noke had found a modeller who could tap into the so-called ‘moment’ whatever it was, whether it is flapper girls, Victorian ladies, children or group studies. All were executed with precision and subtle style. Harradine remained something of a nomad yet he continued sending in models from addresses in England, the Channel Islands and Spain until the end of this great partnership.

In our final part to the Harradine story, we will look at Leslie Harradine, the family man.

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